Shawcross delighted with return
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross looks set to end the season on a high after a troubled start.
Last Updated: 08/05/09 3:42pm
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross looks set to end the season on a high after a troubled start to the campaign.
The 21-year-old former Manchester United starlet was dropped after a disappointing performance against Bolton in the opening game of the season.
After a two-month spell on the sidelines, Shawcross finally made his way back into Tony Pulis' starting XI.
Since then he has gone from strength to strength and looks set to retain his starting berth against Hull City on Saturday.
"Ryan has improved. He was a little bit starry-eyed at the beginning of the season," said Pulis, who feels the break will have worked in Shawcross' favour.
"We left him out and since coming back he has been outstanding. Now and then everyone needs a rest.
"He is only a young kid, he has got to keep his feet on the ground and keep working hard. There is a lot more to come from him."
Despite admitting his disappointment at being dropped after only one start, Shawcross admits the manager's tactics have worked to his benefit.
"Who knows, maybe I could have been a world-beater in my next match," he said.
"But in hindsight, looking at the number of games I have gone on to play, the manager was right.
"I worked hard after being dropped, so I am delighted to not only get back in the team but keep my place."
Not forgetting his roots, Shawcross added: "For my part I like to think the skills I learned as a kid at Manchester United are helping me in the Premier League."